EA Motive had suggested that Star Wars: Squadrons wouldn’t be getting any new content beyond the base game, but luckily for would-be starfighter pilots, the flight sim has been receiving a steady string of updates that go beyond mere tweaks and bug fixes. The latest patch that debuted today (4.0) is particularly noteworthy, as it adds two new starfighters—the B-wing and TIE Defender—for the New Republic fleet and Imperial Navy, as well as the ability to play custom games. Additionally, a server browser has been added.
The full release notes may be found in the link above, but here is what EA Motive had to say about the new starfighters in particular. While both are equipped with heavy shields, the B-wing seems to trade maneuverability for more powerful and aggressive weaponry. The ships also introduce various new components for special attacks and techniques for engaging enemy ships.
B-wing (New Republic Fleet)
- Heavy Gunship playstyle, back-line fighter
- Low maneuverability, relies on boosting/drifting to move and turn efficiently
- High durability and primary damage output, explosive capital ship damage and built-in ion cannons
- Relies on Support/allies to reach capital ships and survive while dealing damage
- Ideal for staying back behind Fighters/Interceptors and laying down heavy fire on enemy ships
- Unique component: Ion Beam
- Deals massive ion damage to capital ship shields and subsystems
- Unique component: Gyro/Aux Control Module
- Allows gyroscopic cockpit roll while holding the auxiliary button, rotating the entire ship around your cockpit. Wing angle determines bomb release angle. Missile evasion is also increased while gyroscopic roll is in motion.
- Also increases ammo count for auxiliaries that use ammo; otherwise, improves auxiliary cooldown rate.
TIE Defender (Imperial Navy)
- Highly adaptable anti-starfighter specialist, front- and mid-line fighter
- High survivability with strong shields but very susceptible to ion weaponry
- Requires frequent, skillful power management and use of boost/drift for ideal performance; poor power management can be detrimental
- Unique component: Advanced Power System
- Gives instant, significant overcharge to the system with max power. If no system has max power, gives weaker overcharge across all systems.
The B-wing was originally introduced in Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, where it can be seen during the Battle of Endor and attack on the second Death Star. Due to its weird, cross-like shape, it’s nearly impossible to miss.
“The ship’s structure is almost entirely taken up by its primary airfoil, which houses a cylindrical cockpit on one end, an engine cluster in the center, and a heavy weapons pod at its base,” reads the B-wing’s official databank entry.
“The B-wing’s command pod has a unique gyroscopic control system. The pilot can orient it so that it always stays level with a horizon line. No matter which way the B-wing may maneuver laterally, its pilot remains upright.”